In recent years the window industry has made giant leaps in improving the quality, durability and look of the home window. If you're ready to replace home windows you'll be excited to learn about all your options. No longer are we stuck with standard wooden framed windows with little insulation.
Older homes have single-glazed windows in which only one layer of glass separates the inside from the outside. Now there are energy efficient two paned windows. There are two panes of glass separated by an air space built right into the window. Double glazing is pretty much standard in today's home windows.
If you're getting ready to replace home windows and you live in colder climates, you may want to consider triple glazed windows. There are three panes of glass separated by two pockets of air space. These types of windows are more expensive and heavier, but you'll save on heating costs.
Other high tech options to replace home windows are windows with low-emissivity (low-E) glass. These windows have a microscopically thin metallic coating to block heat loss. Then there's also double glazed windows filled with argon gas. This raises the insulation value of the window that's equivalent to two inches of fiberglass.
You can also buy windows with glass that will allow you to see outside, while prohibiting those outside from looking in. If you live in a hot climate, these polarized windows are great for blocking the sun.
Another improvement in windows is the ability for easy cleaning. The window simply lifts up and in so that you can clean the outer window without ever stepping outside.
As you replace home windows you'll also have the option of wooden or vinyl window frames. Vinyl window frames can be made to exactly fit the opening of your current window. Many wooden framed windows come in standard sizes. Special or irregular sizes may have to be special ordered.